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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer Amulree's Avatar
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    Question Building a better guild application.

    After browsing another thread and coming across a player who believes that one should spend a few hours on a guild application, I’ve got to say I’m amazed that there are really people out there who would expect this of a new applicant. Having just seen another duo leave my guild “because they’re not enjoying themselves” (though, it was fine when we were throwing items at them), I get to thinking that I may have to simply move on, or look to streamline my own recruitment process in order to start finding the right people.

    First of all, here are my starters for ten:

    - I believe that a website related guild application is a fundamental part of any guild recruitment process.
    - I believe that the process should be made endearing and fun for new applicants.
    - I believe that it should serve as a baseline delimiter for time wasters and guild hoppers.
    - I believe that guild members should be mature and professional when responding.
    - I believe that there are three phases; the application, the interview and the trial.
    - I believe that anything more than an hour is pushing it.

    As I get around the Internet and look at how guilds are doing their application forms, I see an awful lot of repetition; I think it’s abundantly clear that new guilds are just copy-pasting from other websites and making their forms do roughly the same thing. That said, I also note that there are so many questions that NEVER get brought up in an application once answered, or I just can’t see why they’d be there in the first place.

    I suppose I’m curious as to what should be contained in a guild recruitment application, what you want the process to achieve, and what could easily be jettisoned with no loss of information. I’d like to start a discussion that helps to whittle down some of the long, painful and laborious applications and gets to the meat and drink of what a player wants to know, what a guild wants to know, and how best to present this information.

    So, to whit, this is how I view the subject:

    1) Please link the character you’re applying with, ensuring he’s in the relevant gear.

    Obviously, this is the place to start as this is what you want to see first. But it’s assumed that the officers and guild leader will be going through this character to check their gems, reforges, enchantments, reputations, professions, achievement dates and current progression. As a result, asking something in an application that can easily be found via the character pane seems like a colossal waste of time. I would also leave any questions about optimization until the interview phase, because that way you’ll get an “on the spot” answer which, to me, is infinitely better than one that could have been copied and pasted from elsewhere.

    2) Can you confirm that your hardware is up to the task?

    This is a simple yes or no; I don’t need to know speed, I don’t need to know specs, I just need to know that their rig can manage what’s asked of it. Any problems on this front can be dealt with during the trial phase.

    3) Why do you want to join <Guild>, and what will you be bringing if invited to join?

    Potentially, the most important section. This is where a person can sell themselves to you and your guild members both “professionally”, and personally. If the response is a one-liner saying that they saw your guild on WoW Progress and they’ll bring a good raider, you’re not onto a winner.

    4) Please provide your most recent logs; LFR parses are fine (in-game mods are unacceptable).

    Utterly pivotal. I don’t see how you can form any kind of judgement of performance without logs. In fact, I’ve seen many a terrible application get approved because a decent set of logs accompanied it. Without them, I just can’t see how you can make an educated decision on how good a player is.

    5) Can you confirm that you’re able to use TS/Ventrilo/Mumble/Raidcall in raids?

    Once again, this seems pretty fundamental and tends to breed a lot of nonsense. “I can’t get Mumble to work” is a common issue I see, and one that almost always translates to “I can’t be arsed to download it”. If your guild uses voice chat, I think it’s fundamental that a person confirms they can use it.

    6) Can you confirm that you are 100% in charge of your own playtime and can make all of our raids?

    I feel this is maybe a better choice of question than “Are you over 18?” I completely understand guilds that have an over 18 policy, but I don’t think it’s part of a core application process. Essentially, we recently had a player whose dad frequently sent him to bed or just switched off his Internet. It was funny the first time, but became less funny when we needed him online or when it happened mid-pull.

    7) Why are you unhappy in your most recent guild?

    I think this is a core question. You’ll be checking guild history anyway and speaking about it in the interview phase, but a quick explanation can probably give you an inkling of what a person is like because it’s the first look at how they deal with other people.

    8) Is there any other information you’d like to share that you think might help your application?

    This is just a final section to ensure there’s nothing you’ve missed. Friends already in the guild, a theorycrafting blog or Twitter account, a bit of “fill the blanks” in a players history, or anything else they might want to chuck in just to endear themselves to what they hope will be their new guild mates.

    That’s it.

    I wouldn’t have any other questions in the application because I don’t think they’re relevant, or reckon they should be brought up during an interview (and possibly trial). I’m hoping that this debate can refine this process a bit and, just maybe, give guilds a better steer on creating a better recruitment process in future.

    ----------------------------------------

    Amendments:

    Please link any significant alternative characters, either at current level cap or with previous raiding experience. [REMOVED]

    There are a few reasons for this; it’ll tell you if someone’s rerolled, the role they seem most comfortable with when raiding, how you can potentially get a hold of them if they’re not on their main, and whether or not they’re raiding in other guilds on other characters. For me, this is a significant no-no. Whether or not the player can play these toons competitively is, to me, unnecessary. They’re not applying on these toons, so I don’t care if they can play them or not.
    Last edited by Amulree; 2013-05-22 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Pit Lord Knadra's Avatar
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    Used to get really uptight about this when applying to top guilds like Exodus. Never got in but eventually found a guild that was decent but didn't take apps very seriously.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Mokoshne's Avatar
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    a voice interview should be mandatory for any serious guild. you can learn alot about a person from it.
    My weekly podcast can be downloaded here this week we discuss Bill Cosby

  4. #4
    I have been running progression 25 man and 10 man guilds since BC. Not once have I ever used an application process. It's a joke in all honesty. I simply talk to them in game and then in vent to judge their character. If someones attitude doesnt fit I didnt invite, however, you can get quite the feel for a player based upon a vent convo. Guilds who force applications tend to treat you like replaceable parts, which to me is complete bullshit. It's a game about community. But then again I take time to help players so we run our heroic progression group and then others as people are available to teach how to get to that heroic progression group.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Knadra View Post
    Used to get really uptight about this when applying to top guilds like Exodus. Never got in but eventually found a guild that was decent but didn't take apps very seriously.
    You mean you found a guild suitable to your needs and ideas. Good for you. And this is not a nasty remark, if you look at it, it is basically what you wanted.

    @ OP: the only issue I have with a question onthere is the one where you ask about name your significant alts etc.

    Actually I don't mind linking them. But I do not like the reasoning behind it. You are asking this question out of mistrust. Perhaps you bumped your head a few times when people applied to your guild before while still raiding with other guilds?

    While the exception will prove the rule (or whatever the saying is), you cannot tell me that you had more then a handfull or even ever experienced something like this right? Atleast if you raid 4 times a week or more - there are not many people that will join another guild aswell to raid with them on the "missing" 3 days. You will know soon enough if this player will be meeting his promises in terms of availability for your raids.

    In the end it comes down to trust. From my 7/8 years of being a GM in a "hardcore" guild, I never had to deal with these issues tbh.

    edit:
    And last but not least. If that person cannot provide logs. You will deny him/her based on this fact alone? Are you that popular that you get so many applications?

    I am not saying that you should scratch that question. I am merely implying that you shouldn't be that strict. You will surely know very very soon if you invite such a person to the raid, if he/she will perform up to standards. (ofcourse if the rest of the apply is satisfactory)
    Last edited by Vaelorian; 2013-05-22 at 02:45 PM.

  6. #6
    The Lightbringer Amulree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    You mean you found a guild suitable to your needs and ideas. Good for you. And this is not a nasty remark, if you look at it, it is basically what you wanted.

    @ OP: the only issue I have with a question onthere is the one where you ask about name your significant alts etc.

    Actually I don't mind linking them. But I do not like the reasoning behind it. You are asking this question out of mistrust. Perhaps you bumped your head a few times when people applied to your guild before while still raiding with other guilds?

    While the exception will prove the rule (or whatever the saying is), you cannot tell me that you had more then a handfull or even ever experienced something like this right? Atleast if you raid 4 times a week or more - there are not many people that will join another guild aswell to raid with them on the "missing" 3 days. You will know soon enough if this player will be meeting his promises in terms of availability for your raids.

    In the end it comes down to trust. From my 7/8 years of being a GM in a "hardcore" guild, I never had to deal with these issues tbh.
    Erm... yeah.

    I think that's fair enough, actually, and you're probably right - we've been hit with this issue relatively recently, which is likely colouring my judgement.

  7. #7
    Old God Hyve's Avatar
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    Applications are almost entirely redundant in most formats. Having somewhere you can post your questions to them, and having them reply is important, but a lot of the applications I've seen are more serious then some of the paperwork I file for my company ...

    Having an Interview over TeamSpeak is the best way to check an applicant. Let them post their armoury, with a little explanation of their character, but then talk with them. Let them get used to your voice (as Guild Master / Raid Leader) and then get some honest answers. You'll also know then if they have a Mic, and have your TeamSpeak details and feel comfortable listening to you.

    I've had applications asking me for my Facebook / Twitter / YouTube as a requirement, or asking for 400 words on why my gemming is better then anyone else. Over the top applications will only kill your guild. A proper interview, with simple application and a strong trial process is far more efficient.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Zellviren View Post
    Erm... yeah.

    I think that's fair enough, actually, and you're probably right - we've been hit with this issue relatively recently, which is likely colouring my judgement.
    I hope it worked out ok for you

    I edited my post

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    And last but not least. If that person cannot provide logs. You will deny him/her based on this fact alone? Are you that popular that you get so many applications?

    I am not saying that you should scratch that question. I am merely implying that you shouldn't be that strict. You will surely know very very soon if you invite such a person to the raid, if he/she will perform up to standards. (ofcourse if the rest of the apply is satisfactory)
    If you are THAT popular, then yes this could be a dealbreaker.

    What I did was check more if they are capable of writing a nice apply itself. What the choice of words were. If they didn't include a lot of smileys = they are 14 yet they said they were 18 on the apply etc.

    Check if the armory was satisfactory in terms of enchants/gems and professions (perks) and ofcourse achievements but to a lesser extent.

    I also asked what their: /played was. Sometimes (especially around expansions) people with 5 days would apply. Fuck that. You cannot tell me that you will be as great a player as one of my "core" members who has 400 days under his belt with just those 5 days, regardless of how well geared (for that time period) you are.
    Last edited by Vaelorian; 2013-05-22 at 02:53 PM.

  9. #9
    I think Guild Applications are horrible ...

    Why?

    It sets the wrong tone for me with a game. Back when I was younger I could understand and appreciate somewhat the use of guild applications, but mostly for really high-end raidguilds.

    If you're just a small guild with not too high progress, and you value the social aspect of gaming above 'enforcing' heavy and fast raidprogress, then a guild-application will set the wrong tone. If you're more about the social aspect then about the 'we're super pro-leet competitive!'-part of the game then a guild application will give the wrong impression and image about your guild.

    Just because some high end 'pro' raidguilds do it, doesn't mean it's -right- for your guild too. Every guild is different and every guild needs to be smart about how they approach the management of their own raidteam. You'll more easily attract the right type of people for your own guild if you do recruitment in your own style...

  10. #10
    The Lightbringer Amulree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    If you are THAT popular, then yes this could be a dealbreaker.

    What I did was check more if they are capable of writing a nice apply itself. What the choice of words were. If they didn't include a lot of smileys = they are 14 yet they said they were 18 on the apply etc.
    Unfortunately, there's just no way to tell if someone is a capable player or not without logs. For me, that makes it mandatory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    I also asked what their: /played was.
    Essentially, achievement points already ticks that box. Sure, it might be a new class, but that's what you're judging later.

    /played is, to me, superfluous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana View Post
    If you're just a small guild with not too high progress, and you value the social aspect of gaming above 'enforcing' heavy and fast raidprogress, then a guild-application will set the wrong tone. If you're more about the social aspect then about the 'we're super pro-leet competitive!'-part of the game then a guild application will give the wrong impression and image about your guild.

    Just because some high end 'pro' raidguilds do it, doesn't mean it's -right- for your guild too. Every guild is different and every guild needs to be smart about how they approach the management of their own raidteam. You'll more easily attract the right type of people for your own guild if you do recruitment in your own style...
    I think that's all very valid commentary. :O

    But we are talking about raiding guilds here, and pretty much the "average"* progression ones. I think you need a way of delimiting people you want nothing to do with, while also ensuring you have a port of call for when you're offline or someone is planning on coming from off-server.

    *However best you define "average"...

  11. #11
    I personally like logic questions or trick questions in apps. Shows a lot about someone.

    Like

    A mother is 21 years older than her child. In exactly 6 years from now, the mother will be exactly 5 times as old as the child.

    Where's the father?
    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...cn=Revolutions


    BATTLEMASTER (After 3.3.5 nerf) REVOLUTIONS REPORTING IN.
    Wielder of The Scepter of Shifting Sands, Hand of Ragnaros, and Shadowmourne. Bringer of 66 minute kings.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Zellviren View Post
    I think that's all very valid commentary. :O

    But we are talking about raiding guilds here, and pretty much the "average"* progression ones. I think you need a way of delimiting people you want nothing to do with, while also ensuring you have a port of call for when you're offline or someone is planning on coming from off-server.

    *However best you define "average"...
    Yes. I didn't mean it as a sleight towards your guild ... It was more a general thought. I personally think that VT interviews are the most useful of all though. Applications generally also don't show wether you're gonna get someone who is comfortable talking on skype, VT or raidcall or not ... and a raider that is willing to communicate through voice is worth a dozen times more than someone that doesn't.

  13. #13
    Scarab Lord Mokoshne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana View Post
    I think Guild Applications are horrible ... Why? It sets the wrong tone for me with a game.
    On the flip side though you want someone that is committed enough to put in effort to do a really good app. If they can't take the time to do a good app, will they be committed enough to research boss fights / theorycraft their toon etc. I think thats what people don't get, its the demonstration of effort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutions View Post
    I personally like logic questions or trick questions in apps. Shows a lot about someone.
    As long as its a bit of fun and no malice behind it thats probably ok!
    My weekly podcast can be downloaded here this week we discuss Bill Cosby

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana View Post
    I think Guild Applications are horrible ...

    (...)
    While I agree that social/casual guilds don't need applications as hardcore ones do, they're still useful to see what kind of person you're dealing with, and they can serve as an intro post to your other guildies too.

    Call me stupid but I cannot understand the question x.x Do you want to know what are good application questions, what are bad ones, or our opinions on the questions you named, or what? Just correct me if wrong but I'm assuming you simply want to discuss what is good to have in an app form.

    The answer to me - well, that depends on what kind of guild you are.

    Mandatory for me are sections about theorycrafting. We had a question that was something like "what kind of resources do you use to keep yourself up to date on your character" (something along those lines): a very open question that by 90% of the applicants was answered with MY FRIEND AND MMO CHAMPION (and sometimes not even mmo champion, but just friends and tradechat).

    To me a good player can simply not be good if he does not keep himself up to date constantly through obvously fansites, but more importantly, theorycrafting (if they don't theorycraft or at the very minimum understand what is going on in theorycraft discussions, it was a no-go for me: you don't need to be a mathematical genius to at least comprehend discussions on "festerblight" for death knights for example), and self-scrutiny (if that's the word) by looking over your own WoL, comparing, etc. Constant motion to keep in touch with your own performance and the latest news on your class, with an own motivation to continually improve and find out new stuff without being spoon-fed.

    Another thing important to me was their guild history. It's a nice and quick way to get some overview on that person's past in the game, his old goals, and mostly his attitude (guild-hopper), his personality ("GM was a dick and he kicked me!!11 insert 3 more lines of rage") and the like. Sometimes, we contacted their old guild to ask about performance and attitude (this is not uncommon at all, we got similar questions from other guilds about our ex-guildies applying to them).

    As a sidenote, we had TS interviews too. Mostly to check if their mic wasn't completely garbage or to see if they weren't the "lol giggle I don't speak I'm too shy" crowd, completely unacceptable in a hardcore 10man environment, and two things we had major problems with in the past. In those interviews we usually had some lolchat, with here and there class-specific, theorycraft-specific or encounter-specific discussion like I would with any regular guildie. It tells you what kind of person you're dealing with, too.
    Last edited by Cirque; 2013-05-22 at 05:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutions View Post
    I personally like logic questions or trick questions in apps. Shows a lot about someone.
    My favorite for one of my guilds was a question that said:


    When completing your application, delete this entire question from your post. Failure to delete this question will indicate that you can't follow simple directions. Can you follow simple directions?


    You'd be amazed at how often this caught people. The best ones where they simply answered the question with a "Yes." We tended to answer their app with a "No."
    Last edited by Dreyo; 2013-05-22 at 05:22 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    If you are THAT popular, then yes this could be a dealbreaker.
    I wouldnt call it a dealbreaker either but its a matter of fairness to accept only those yould expect to be capable of passing the trialtime. this pretty much requires logs otherwise chances are very high that said player wont meet the expectations and be rejected soon after (which is even more deceisive if he has to swap servers). this is obviously not your problem as a guildleader since loot usually is handed out to members above trials.
    if you play in a serious hc raiding guild on the other hand, ild not waste a spot..

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutions View Post
    I personally like logic questions or trick questions in apps. Shows a lot about someone.

    Like

    A mother is 21 years older than her child. In exactly 6 years from now, the mother will be exactly 5 times as old as the child.

    Where's the father?
    Mom will always be 21 years older. 21 not divisible by 5. And dad is prolly a dickbag who ran out on ma'

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-22 at 02:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreyo View Post
    My favorite for one of my guilds was a question that said:


    When completing your application, delete this entire question from your post. Failure to delete this question will indicate that you can't follow simple directions.

    You'd be amazed at how often this caught people. The best ones where they simply answered the question with a "Yes." We tended to answer their app with a "No."
    There ya go.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey P View Post
    There ya go.
    wow applications are like job applications - you should do more than expected. simply delete all questions to truly shine and stick out of the stupid crowd!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by kalo View Post
    wow applications are like job applications - you should do more than expected. simply delete all questions to truly shine and stick out of the stupid crowd!
    Delete the entire application ?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by kalo View Post
    wow applications are like job applications - you should do more than expected. simply delete all questions to truly shine and stick out of the stupid crowd!
    Doing what you asked directly to do first is a good start before moving on to doing more than expected.

    Nevermind, I think I mistook your intent.
    Last edited by Mikey P; 2013-05-22 at 08:22 PM.

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